I deleted my Instagram account almost 3 weeks ago (I also deactivated my Twitter account but the annoying thing with Twitter is that it doesn’t delete anything IF log back in within 30 days and after this fiasco I logged in to vent and rant and rage so for now I’m still on Twitter).
But I digress, this is about Instagram.
I thought I really loved Instagram, I thought it was artistic and inspirational and fun. And then I realised just how much of my time I spent either posting or refreshing my feed or refreshing to see comments or likes.
I realised that actually it was making me into a fidgety addict with an attention span of an overtired toddler. I realised that it was taking focus away from my actual real life.
I tried controlling the habit by seriously culling how many people I follow but that did not work as well as I hoped. I tried controlling it by deleting the app from my phone and only checking it via a browser but that did not change my habits radically either.
And that is why I quit. Sometimes the only cure is to pull the plug and move on.
Here’s what my Instagram-free life has made me think about in the last few weeks:
- Running is fun even when you don’t take photos of yourself running.
Plus you finish sooner because you no longer spend time setting up your camera and fake-running in front of it a bazillion times (and pretending you’re just stretching when dog walkers come by) to get one decent shot out of it in the end.
- Eating food is enjoyable even when you don’t take photos of your meals.
Plus you now have the added benefit of your food still being warm when you start to eat it.
- Being over 40 is finally again no big deal and you have much less FOMO re ‘Oh my lawd, all these young people are traipsing around the world in exotic places doing exotic things.’
You remember that you too have traveled the world and you may have not spent a lot of that time running extreme ultra marathons through deserts OR lounging by swimming pools in a bikini sipping cocktails but you speak several languages, have tons of great memories and a lot of amazing friends from all over the world.
- It’s much easier to focus on & celebrate what your body can DO when you’re no longer bombarded with photos of what other bodies LOOK like.
- You appreciate your real job when you’re no longer exposed to all the 20-year olds who make lots of money from posting photos of their butts or handbags on Instagram.
- You remember that you’re not cool or beautiful or sexy or any of those things that sells on Instagram but that you are so very ok with what you are & with just the right people loving you just as you are.
- No matter how strong you think you are mentally to not fall into the comparison trap, no matter how few people you yourself follow on Instagram, you still compare(d).
And comparison is the stealer of all joy. It takes your focus away from your own life and it makes the grass on the other side look soooo much greener. Even though you know it’s a filter. Literally and figuratively.
At this point I don’t miss Instagram and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something. Instead, I feel that my real life is more real.
What is your relationship with Instagram like?